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Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Sandra Poth

Mr. Fallik,
I am currently researching the 65% initiative for my district Superintendent. To get background information, I contacted NCES about how/where the 65% idea came from since First Class Education uses the NCES definition. Frank Johnson of NCES responded and told me that the defintion of 'direct' instruction evolved into common practice by 1980. I asked if NCES has ever considered 'revisiting' (or reviewing) this 25+ year old definition. He stated that they (NCES) has not had hardly anyone ever ask about reviewing/revisiting. I guess I don't have to tell you how much has happened in 25+ in education and the world. I feel that since NCES is a component of the USDE, and, as such, is respected as THE source for all things like this....there should be some mandatory review process for such significant items as a definition that shapes educational policy as this 'direct costs' definition does.

Mr. Johnson went on to state that [quote] "The USDE is not supporting or connected in any way that I know of with the First Class Education initiative to get states to require that school districts spend at least 65% of total current expenditures on Instruction. FCE does site and use our definitions for instruction. These definitions have been in use since at least 1980. I believe that '65 percent' was chosen because it appeared chievable by the authors of this initiative. The national average (in 2002-2003) was 61.3%."

Interesting way of establishing crucial eductational policy--taking a simple average of state costs and picking a point above that average that is 'achievable'.

Thanks for reading my comment.
Sandra Poth

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